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National Zoo reopens to visitors after shutdown

Friday - 10/18/2013, 1:36pm  ET

National zoo (WTOP/Kristi King)
A panda mascot greets people at the National Zoo. (WTOP/Kristi King)
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The National Zoo reopens

WTOP's Kristi King reports.

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Bonding with the animals at the zoo

WTOP's Kristi King reports.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A day after most furloughed federal employees went back to work -- and the popular "panda cam" was turned back on -- the Smithsonian's National Zoo is open to visitors again.

The zoo opened its gates Friday morning. It was closed for nearly 3 weeks because of the government shutdown.

While giant panda Mei Xiang (may SHONG) and her unnamed, 8-week-old female cub are still not on public display, visitors can see the cub's father, Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN).

The cub's eyes have opened, and she can scoot around on her front legs.

Zoo director Dennis Kelly greeted visitors at the zoo's main gate Friday morning. The zoo is also offering a 10 percent discount on food and merchandise through Sunday.


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